A divergent pattern of sensory axonal projections is rendered convergent by second-order neurons in the accessory olfactory bulb.

  • publication
  • 02-10-2002

Del Punta K, Puche A, Adams NC, Rodriguez I, Mombaerts P. Neuron 2002 Sep;35(6):1057-66. S0896627302009042.

The mammalian vomeronasal system is specialized in pheromone detection. The neural circuitry of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) provides an anatomical substrate for the coding of pheromone information. Here, we describe the axonal projection pattern of vomeronasal sensory neurons to the AOB and the dendritic connectivity pattern of second-order neurons. Genetically traced sensory neurons expressing a given gene of the V2R class of vomeronasal receptors project their axons to six to ten glomeruli distributed in globally conserved areas of the AOB, a theme similar to V1R-expressing neurons. Surprisingly, second-order neurons tend to project their dendrites to glomeruli innervated by axons of sensory neurons expressing the same V1R or the same V2R gene. Convergence of receptor type information in the olfactory bulb may represent a common design in olfactory systems.

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